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Total Theatre. Discussion

30 August 2018


Who were the pioneers of new theater and what are they famous for? How does promenade theater work and how is it different from a flash mob? Why did they convert a six-story theatre building into the city of Normansk and where in Moscow can one experience Implicit Impacts?

In the past few years Moscow has seen the rise of extraordinary theatre: immersive, promenade, site specific. All those practices represent different types of total theater—a theater that is not attached to a particular setting and adapts to any sets and architecture, has no walls and sometimes no actors (and occasionally no audience, too).

In the 1970s Peter Brook and Robert Wilson took theater off the stage and into natural and architectural environments, extending plays to several days and taking them from one city location to another to change the setting. In the 1910s artists who later came to be known as futurists organized the first immersive theater shows in Russia. Later, Nikolai Evreinov wrote instructions for theater performances that could be recreated in any space. After a look back at the Russian avant-garde experiments of the 1920s and American theater of the 1960s, we will discuss contemporary practices.

We will talk about Rimini Protokoll’s projects Remote Moscow and Cargo Moscow; shows without actors such as Questioning by Magic Garden (Switzerland) at Gogol Center, and Etiquette by Rotozaza (UK) at Danilovsky Market, theatre shows set in mansions, backstreets, and on riverbanks; commercial and avant-garde practices that tread new paths or lead to a dead end.


Vsevolov Lisovsky, director, commissioner at Theatre. Doc, organizer of Transformator.doc

Evgeny Khudyakov, theatre producer, artistic director at Khitrovka

Yury Kvyatkovsky, director, teacher at Moscow Art Theater School (Dmitry Brusnikin’s Studio)

Olga Nikitina, stage designer (Meyerhold Center, Chekhov Moscow Art Theatre, Carlos Santos Mirror)

Inna Sukhoretskaya, actress, Meyerhold Center (Sasha, Take the Rubbish Out), Praktika Theatre (Grandmothers), Theatre of Nations (Mumu), and Chekhov Moscow Art Theatre (Dreamworks).

Moderator: Aleksey Kiselyov, theatre historian and critic, columnist at Afisha Daily


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